Everything is linked...

Nothing remains untouched...

And no one escapes the web

"Poppy!" A loud voice chided and I rolled my eyes dismissively at the towering pale she-cat that stood before me, a combination of concern and sheer rage on her face, "How many times do I have to tell you-"

"Yeah, yeah, no sneaking out at night because it's dangerous and there are dogs and no sneaking out at day because its dangerous and there are twolegs and no playing with other cats because they might get violent, but no playing with yourself either because you could get hurt, and shouldn't I dare try to catch my own prey because it might bite me but shouldn't I dare attempt to eat less to grow thinner either!"

"I expect respect from you, Poppy. I gave birth to you under tough situations, and maybe not all parents will agree with my methods, but everything I do is for you. Which gives you no right to start snapping at me like that! Goodness, Poppy, I'm your mother!"

"Mothers aren't supposed to lock their children up all day and keep them from living so that they don't get hurt, mom. I'm seven moons old now, you need to stop treating me like I'm three."

"You'll always be a kit to me," Her smile was affectionate but it made me awkward and irked. My mother had to get over the fact that I wasn't a kit anymore. She had to let me be what I was; a growing she-cat with a passion for adventure and games!

"Then you'll always be annoying to me!" I responded sharply, before whirling around and marching towards my den, which, unfortunately was right beside her.

"Sometimes we have to let go of our need for excitement, and adventure and silly, pointless dangerous games, Poppy. Sometimes we just have to grow up, and until you prove to me that you can do such, I have no problem remaining annoying-as long as it keeps you safe."

She offered me a sad smile before curling up in the nest next to mine, quickly falling asleep, leaving me angered at her. I had just come back from an awesome chase with dogs alongside a new friend, Amber, and as soon as I returned home she had to just spoil it.

The other cats I had met were also annoyed by their parents but even they would gape when I told them about how uptight, overprotective and outright annoying mine could be.

As I continued to listen to the sound of my mother sleeping, I felt an odd rage working its way up me. Who does she think she is?

My mother, yes, but that didn't give her the right to control every bit of my life. That didn't make it okay for her to flip out every time I left eyesight for just a short moment.

She was like a guard dog, and I wasn't appreciating the role.

So-as she continued to snore, and I continue to wonder how severe the consequences would be if I got caught I finally decided to do the unthinkable, the steadily increasing thumping of my heart confirming my choice. I would have an adventure in the one thing my mom feared the most; the dark.

I studied her for a moment to make sure she was truly asleep, and once I knew that such was doubtlessly the case, I pushed myself out of my nest, turning to the stars for a moment in excitement. I almost wanted my mother to catch me-to see that she could not contain me this way.

I knew though that such would be the end-that she would always find ways to contain me and make sure I didn't even try to live.

So, I was careful as I sneaked out of our den, glancing quickly at our home, a little patch of grass surrounded by streets and twoleg life, before giving myself an encouraging nod and continuing.

That dog chase would prove to be nothing-I would have a real dangerous, exciting and story-worthy adventure tonight. And there would be nothing my mother could do about it.


"Poppy?" Amber, the ginger she-cat I had befriended that day, while running from loose dogs together, stirred while I prodded her. As she woke, I glanced about her home curiously, and was able to appreciate the luxury of my own home for the first life.

Where my mother and I lived in a grassy area and slept on soft, warm moss Amber living in the twoleg alleys-sleeping on a brown flat thing that had what I recognized as tape all over the sides.

"What is that?" I couldn't help but question.

"Cardboard," She replied as she finally pushed herself to her paws. I realized for the first time how much older she was than me, probably around the age of my mother. She finally turned to me, a snappy expression on her face which nearly scared me. Clearly Amber liked her sleep, "So what did you wake me for? To shove it in my face that you have a nicer bed and home than me?

"No, not at all!" I squeaked.

"What then?"

"I was going to, uh, try another adventure," I whispered, suddenly scared of that vicious look in the she-cats eyes, "Toy with a group of angry twolegs and-"

"Why does this concern me?"

"I thought you liked adventure..." I was murmuring. I had suspected Amber had been my friend, but as I stared into her sharp eyes now I realized we hadn't been friends-not in her eyes at least. I was just someone who had helped her escape near death.

"What a stupid idea!"

Realizing that if she said no, which it almost doubtlessly seemed that she would, I would have to turn around like a loser and go on the adventure alone which was as pointless as sitting in my nest on a night during which I couldn't sleep, I began to think fast and an idea quickly hit me when I saw her ribs poking through her pelt.

"They have lots of food and I'll let you take all of it."

She seemed hesitant for a moment as a loud growl erupted from her stomach, and glanced about before looking down at her paws again. She nodded.

"But we are not friends, get that notion out of your head, kittypet."

I ignored the insult. Hmm, perhaps even going alone would be better than going with this cranky old badger. Although she wasn't quite so mean when we were running from dogs despite the fact that she had a good reason to be in a terrible mood then.

"Let's go already!" She snapped, cutting my thoughts in half, and I shook my head fiercely, nodding. The better I got back to my next the better. It would be too late by now to stop this if my mother caught me, but I knew if I could return undetected it would mean escaping any punishments or yelling or whatever she may have in store for me.

"Let's go," I agreed, leading the way for the tabby ginger she-cat as she followed from a few steps behind me. I resisted the urge to scrunch my nose-I hadn't noticed how bad she smelled before.

"So how are you doing?"

"I told you that we are not friends."

There was a tight, long-lasting silence before I nodded, "Sorry, I forgot. I hope you don't mind my asking, but why exactly don't you want to be friends?"

"Because," She snapped, "Friends are useless clumps of fur that only occupy your emotional capacity so you can't concentrate as much, which means you have a harder time surviving when always thinking about them, and then it hurt in the end when you learn that your mate has left you for your best friend and all of your other 'pals' are there congratulating her, and don't even stop to give you their condolences."

"I'm sorry," I hope my voice made it clear how sincere I was. I had never fallen in love before but I assumed she really had feelings for the tom she was currently talking about.

"Stop being friendly," She snapped, and I sighed, continuing to lead her towards the place I had heard of. I wasn't even positive that they had food, but I couldn't imagine a twoleg that wouldn't."

The urge to converse with her was so hard to resist I ended up biting into my tongue. She seemed to notice my torture at the fact that I couldn't speak to her because a smile curved up her jaw.

"Something wrong, kittypet?"

"I'm not a kittypet," I murmured, best as I could, while my teeth continued to encase my tongue, "Why do you even call me that?"

"Because you're pampered and mommy always takes care of you," She spat, "Which basically makes you no different from a kittypet-only for them it's their owners instead of their moms."

I bit back a sharp response-quite literally.


"That's the house," I whispered from behind the bushes where we were watching as two old twolegs ate from a large piece of glass hanging in their house which Amber had called a window.

"Alright, you distract them and I'll get the food," She whispered and I stared at her in surprise.

"Those twolegs have the sticks-those guns," I gasped, "I can't face them alone or I'll get shot and killed and..." I trailed off, fear suddenly pulsing through my heart, as I realized what I had done by coming here. I could, very possibly would die because of this...

What was I thinking?'

"Your fault for having such a stupid idea," Amber shrugged her gaze still trained ahead, "They get mad really easily so just scratch their windows and they'll be out trying to shoot you while I sneak in and grab the food."

"I-I-I'm not sure this is a good idea anymore," I offered, taking a shaky step back, "I kind of like my pelt and my life-or at least living, since I don't really have much of a life because my mother always confines me to my nest even though I now understand why..." I was rambling and Amber clearly wasn't buying it.

Within moments she had pinned me to the ground a dangerous snarl spreading across her face and, timing itself perfectly, a large growl erupted from her stomach.

"I'm hungry, you well-fed kittypet," She snarled, "Now stop being such a selfish brat, who can only bother to think about themselves and help me feed myself."

Had her claws not been right at my throat I would have told her to stop being so selfish and expect me to put my life on the line so that she could have a nice meal but I knew it was either certain death at her claws or possible death at that of the twolegs.

I decided to take my chances.

"Alright, alright," I whispered, trying to gasp for breath, while her claws dug further into my neck, her eyes glinting with some mad sort of light.

Is she crazy or just extremely hungry?

Likely both, I decided.

"I'll do it," I repeated quickly, "I promise I'll go up there and distract the twolegs so that you can sneak in there to grab your own food."

The claws dug further into my neck. "I don't believe you."

"What can I do to make you believe me?" I spat, fear working its way through me. For the first time, possibly, ever I wanted my mother to be right beside me. I didn't care if it made me boring, or a kittypet or whatever I wanted my mother.

Amber stopped for a moment, and finally after moments of hesitation removed her claws from my throat, shoving me up to my unsteady paws before hissing in my ear.

"If you lied I will hunt you down and kill you and there will be nothing your precious mommy can do about it, okay?"

Blood pounding loudly in my ears, as I attempted to stabilize my footing and desperately failed, I offered a hesitant nod, "Okay."

I pushed myself out of the bushes. I wanted to feel calm and heroic and like a great cat sacrificing their safety so that their friend could eat food, if I escaped this that was likely how I would explain it, but I couldn't help feeling like a complete coward. Each step closer and closer towards the window was making me more and more uncertain, but I could feel Amber's glare raw on my back.

Could I run faster than her?

I thought back to the dog chase earlier that day and decided that it was highly unlikely I could outrun her, and there was certainly not a chance I could fight her off.

I'm sorry, mother.

I shot Amber a smothering glare, filled with every ounce of hate I could possible muster, before taking my final steps towards the window, my final steps towards likely death.

Hesitating for only a split moment, I reached upwards, and began to claw and the windows, wincing and the screeching sound that erupted when I did so. I could already see the two twolegs getting up, obviously annoyed, and as I continued to scratch-almost against my own willpower-they got angrier and angrier, before they finally stopped eating.

I stopped, silenced for a moment.

Then the entrance to their den swung open, and the two twolegs were there-both looking enraged and one holding what Reed, a cat I had hung out with a couple times from the alleys, had claimed they called a gun.

I knew they were dangerous.

Without hesitation I whirled around and began to ran. I could hear a few shots from behind me but they all missed me. Spinning my head around to quickly glance I realized they were chasing after me.

I would have to put up a fight to make it out alive.

A part of me considered checking to make sure Amber was in the house but I decided that wasn't my business. She didn't deserve my concerns or attention when I was running for my life and she had put me in the situation.

Another shot sounded behind me but this time it was louder.

I'm going to die.

Should I have listened to my mother? Or was it her fault for being so overprotective? Or was there really no way I could escape this fate.

The next shot was louder. They are gaining up on me. The next louder. Then louder. And louder. Finally, I could hear the shot rushing past my ear, and denting the ground beside me.

I was sure my death was approaching-surely this next shot would be the last one I would ever. Hear. I shut my eyes, feeling myself gasping for my last breaths.

Another gunshot.

But this time, it seemed to be flying in a different direction. I stopped quickly, spinning around to discover that the twolegs had changed their course, taking a right turn and were no chasing after something else.

Squinting my eyes for a moment, I realized it was another cat they were chasing after. Amber? But it wasn't Amber, I realized, as I tried to look further. It was my mom.

"Mother!" I screeched, chasing after the twolegs. I couldn't let me mom die because of my foolishness. I wouldn't.

"Stop, Poppy," I could hear my mother calling back at me, "Go back home-I'll be fine. I promise. Please. Just... go back."

I stopped, hesitating. I didn't want to leave my mother but that desperate tone in her voice...

Who was I to deny her wishes when she had jumped in to save my life after that-even after warning me about all the dangers of the world?

I forced myself to turn around and go home.


"Poppy?" A soft voice called through the trees. I snapped my head up as my mother's figure emerged from the shadows of the fading night.

"Mom!" I rushed up to her, covering her in relieved licks, "You came back! You're alright!"

"Of course I did," She smiled, "I couldn't leave you-especially not after seeing how much you really do need me to keep an eye out for you."

"How did you shake them off?"

"Oh I made it to the forest and from there they had lost me. Seemed pretty angry though-they were the nastiest twolegs I've come across in a long time."

"I-," I hesitated for a moment before continuing, "I'm sorry, mom. I should have listened to you-seen the point in what you said. I just-"

"I've been too strict as well," She smiled, "How about this, Poppy? Why don't we try to find some middle ground? I'll give you freedom but prevent you from doing things that can be harmful. Some games can be fun, but some can be dangerous too, you know?"

I offered her a shy smile, "I know, mom, I know."

I groaned as I woke up, the noises of fighting coming from the apprentice and warrior den forcing me out of my sleep sooner than I would like.

When are we going to get over this drama?

For the past moon now, every day I would receive dozens of complaints over she-cats acting terrible towards each other, toms fighting over mates, even physical fights that would erupt because of their anger towards each other.

PebbleClan had more food, water and was at it's longest-lasting peace with their neighboring Clan, StoneClan, but yet they had never been in a worse state. With time to spend on things other than survival the majority of Clal life was now hogged up by drama. Drama. And more drama.

Even as I exited the den, deciding to grab a piece of fresh-kill I could make out the noises of two she-cats screeching at each other over some tom they both supposedly liked, I could make out the sounds of two queens debating over who had the more blessed kit-and their kits arguing alongside their mothers, and I was pretty sure there was some commotion going on outside of camp.

I missed the days where the main issues would be a lack of food, a betrayal, war with StoneClan whom we used to be eager to destroy, although the same was true for them.

It had even come to the point where I would often have to address the drama when gathering the Clan in the mornings. And I thought that was unacceptable.

The most horrifying moment had been when, under a moon ago, my old and loyal deputy, Yarrowstem, had died from a combination of whitecough and his old age. I was thinking that night of who to appoint as new deputy when I was forced to come out of my den because of some very loud commotion.

When I exited the den, what I ran into was a civil war among the Clan. With some help from neutral warriors I was able to break it up and when I demanded to know what had happened I was told by Graytail, a she-cat who had been my most probable choice, that it was over the deputy.

Apparently a small feud had started between her sister and another tom who was sure he would become deputy. Eventually the whole Clan ended up joining the feud-a battle with countless sides-over who would become the next deputy.

Needless so say, Graytail did not end up becoming deputy. I picked one of the very few cats who didn't get into the fight but they were certainly not a cat I would have picked had I not been so desperate. Sparrowwing had only been a warrior for a few months and although she was very loyal she didn't posses most traits that were proper for a deputy-leadership, endurance, experience.

Not that we needed a deputy with any of that in the Clan's current state. What we needed, more than anything else, was someone who could put an end to this stage of PebbleClan.

"Rainstar!" I whirled my head around to find Heronvale, a handsome brown tabby tom with golden eyes staring at me dully, his eyes shadowed.

"What's wrong?" I questioned.

"You aren't going to like this but..." He sucked in a deep breath, "There have been several fights going on in the nursery as of late."

"Going on everywhere."

"Yes, well, today Morningblue and Dewfall were fighting again, and it was getting really intense and then it got physical."

"The queens got physical? In front of their kits?" My jaw dropped.

"Yes. They did. Anyways, um, Grasskit got really mad when Dewfall swatted at his mother, so he tried to get in there and he like bit her paw or something. And Dewfall, thinking it was Morningblue, gave him a really nasty scratch."

"Great StarClan."

"It's fatal."

"This is nonsense," I spat, my anger of all the past few moons finally beginning to suddenly reach me, "A kit is going to die because..."

"He might not die."

"A kit is in fatal condition because our two oh-so-precious queens fought over whose kit was going to become more successful!" I spat, before sighing and petting his shoulder in apology, "Sorry, Heronvale, you shouldn't have to be the one to deal with this-thanks for telling me."

"Grasskit's in the medicine cat's den," Heronvale informed with a quick nod.

But I was not going to the medicine cat's den. Instead, I was marching straight towards the nursery. I had given the Clan enough patience but they had finally crossed a line. A cat was about to die. A kit was about to die. A kit was about to die because of his dramatic mother who couldn't shed a little pride.

"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?" I roared, breaking apart the glaring competition between the two queens. Fishkit, Defall's only daughter, was sitting in the corner, a horrified expression on her face. She was refusing to look at either of the queens. I could barely do so myself.

"She killed my kit!" Morningblue wailed. Dewfall bowed her head in shame, but I could see anger burning through her gaze. She didn't really believe it was her fault. Neither did I. Not entirely, anyways.

"You caused your kit to become so fatally injured!" I snapped back, "Did you really have to engage in a fight with Dewfall in front of them? Did you seriously think they would just sit there while you two ripped each other in shreds? Why do you find the need to fight about who has a better kit anyways?"

"She had to accept that Fishkit wasn't all that better than Grasskit," Morningblue spat, a combination of sorrow and rage in her eyes, "And I couldn't let her going around with that ego."

"Even if it meant having a near-dead Grasskit lying in the medicine cats den?" Morningblue burst into tears and I knew I was being harsh but I knew it was my only choice if I wanted her to get any lesson out of this. "Admit it, Morningblue, it's your fault just as much as it is that of Dewfall!"

"I-I-I," She struggled to speak, stammering endlessly and shaking her head in denial as the tears continued to stream, "I would never-"

"Your pride and your fragile ego have hurt your very own kit," I spat. She bowed her head in shame, finally accepting what I had said.

"You-you're right, Rainstar."

Without replying to her I whirled around to head for the medicine cat's den. More than making sure Grasskit was okay, something which wouldn't benefit her at all, I wanted to unsure she hadn't taken any wrong lessons out of this.

As I paddled to the medicine cat's den, I could hear loud murmurs about the state of Grasskit. I tried to ignore them and instead focus on the tiny stones that were dotted around the floor to camp.

I loved my Clan, I truly did, but it could get so frustrating. We had become so shallow-all that mattered to us anymore was our egos and being better than anyone else.

There has to be some way to fix this.

As I entered the medicine cat's den the first thing I noticed was Freefall standing over an injured Grasskit. There was a long gash along her face, that went half way down her stomach, and she was lying in a small pool of blood. I felt my stomch churning.

How could they do this to a kit?

Suddenly I was disgusted. Disgusted with Morningblue and Dewfall. Disgusted with the drama. Disgusted with myself for being able to stop it. Disgusted with the state of the Clan. Disgusted with PebbleClan.

"Are you alright Grasskit?" I could barely find a voice inside me.

"It hurts," He whimpered, "It hurts! Why would Dewfall do this to me?" The pain was leaking through his voice and I felt my insides squeeze.

"I don't know, Grasskit, I really don't know."

"I don't want to live in this Clan anymore!" He wailed, as Freefall, our medicine cat, continued to apply cobwebs steadily, "I don't like this Clan anymore!"

"Me neither," I whispered silently, "I agree with you Grasskit."

"You do?" His eyes were bright for a moment.

"I do."


It happened while I was sitting in my den that night. I could hear fighting from right outside my den, and after seeing poor Grasskit I was done.

Completely done.

I had decided, that the next day I would be leaving the Clan. Sparrowwing wouldn't make for a great leader but it didn't seem like leaders were of any good as of late.

It's not like anyone would listen to them anymore, anyways.

I had considered possible telling another cat but eventually decided against it. My whereabouts was not a think I would want to be known. When I left the Clan the next day I wanted to be leaving it for good.

And the sounds of fighting coming from outside were all the proof I needed about that.

It was likely midnight, and still the cats of PebbleClan had nothing better to do that fight. They had learned nothing from Grasskit's near death.

Should I take Grasskit with me?

No, I decided. This might not be the better life for him, but he needed a mother, and that was something I had no idea how to be.

As terrible of one as she was, Morningblue was his mother and to separate them would be worse than a life in PebbleClan... right?

I convinced myself that it was the case, that it had to be the case. PebbleClan wasn't that bad. At least we weren't being attacked by StoneClan every other night, losing at least one member by each sunrise.

"Rainstar! Rainstar!" I jumped as the midnight patrol suddenly busted into my den, terrified expressions on their face that I knew could only come from real danger.

"What's wrong?" I instinctively demanded.

"Two twolegs," One of them panted, "They were both carrying those firesticks and they looked really really mad. I don't think it was at us, but if they get here I don't think they'll hesitate to shoot."

"We won't stand a chance against those sticks."

They all nodded. And in that moment I realized that as sick and tired of my Clan as I was, as eager as I was to leave the place it was still my home and I still loved it.

"We need to evacuate."


"PebbleClan!" The cats all turned their heads up towards me, not much attention in their eyes. I could tell they were all either eager to return to sleep or fighting. "We have to evacuate."

The Clan burst into hysterics. Some began to scream, some broke into arguments and Morningblue let out a high-pitched wail of despair.

"It will only be temporary!"

But they still weren't listening. Cats were going wild, still turning on each other, it was like nothing I said could make any difference to them.

The leader's word is supposed to be warrior code.

"Listen up!" I tried again, but they still weren't listening. I felt my heart pounding in my chest, as I realized the more time I wasted the closer the twolegs could be getting.

"Do you want to die or would you mind showing your Clan leader a little bit of respect?" I hollered, allowing all of my rage to flow through my voice.

Only a few cats stopped to look.

What has become of this place?

I felt a deep sadness overtaking me as I looked down below me. This could be the end of PebbleClan, I realized, but in my heart it had ended a long time ago. Because this wasn't my Clan, this wasn't my home and this wasn't the place I had been so loyally in love with.

"Cats of PebbleClan!" I tried again, with no response. I could have sword I heard footsteps, getting louder and louder and louder and-


All cats turned their head to the entrance. Two twolegs had knelt down so that they were sitting on their knees, a look of malice entering their eyes as they glanced at us.

The male one turned to the female and said something I couldn't make out at all. There was a tense moment of silence before they both lowere their sticks and began to shoot.

The sound of firing was loud, and I realized that this would, in fact, bring the end of PebbleClan for good. If any cats survived this I doubted they would come back here.

Farewell, PebbleClan. You were long gone already and I'm sorry I couldn't bring you back.

Without much hesitation, I turned around and began to dash in the opposite direction of the entrance. There were a few secret exits I knew, and without much hesitation, I quickly dashed into the medicine cat's den, from which I scratched at the ferns that had built a wall.

I turned my head over at the sound of coughing.

It was Grasskit. But I knew there was no way I could save him and escape at the same time. I felt an odd tug of war in my heart-there was no way he could live if he was left here.

There's nothing you can do I convinced myself as I turned around and escaped through the opening I had made in the medicine cats den.

I ran for a while, until I knew I was far away enough from camp. Then I stopped for a moment, turning around to look back at the place that had once been my home.

I could hear shrieks, and fires and cries and decided not to even imagine how many cats were dead. An image of Grasskit entered my mind but I forced it away before it could guilt me. I can't go back now.

So, only allowing myself a second of hesitation, I turned around for the very last time, knowing that there was nothing else that could have been done.

Farewell, PebbleClan.

"Hailstar!" I blinked my eyes open as a patrol ran into camp, breathing heavily. Many were shaking their heads back and forth in disbelief and I frowned.

"What's wrong?" I questioned, turning my head away from the prey I had been eating, feeling my friend Ashfur stiffen by my side.

The whole of the clearing seemed to have paused in order to hear the news which was about to be delivered. Most of the patrol seemed in shock-they didn't look upset but they seemed... horrified.

"What's wrong?" I repeated.

Bushpelt, the leader of the patrol, took a shaky step forward, "PebbleClan. They are gone. Completely gone. I don't know what happened to them, but..."

"What do you mean by 'gone'?" I asked, pushing myself up to my feet, and taking a few steps towards the patrol, "Gone as in...?"

"The camp is completely empty. There is blood all over the floor. There hasn't been anyone in there for days. We just were going to visit to remind them to scent-mark their borders but there wasn't anyone to warn. Except for a few wandering rogues, that is."

I glanced about camp, "Maplefall, Squirrertail, Badgerclaw, Frostfur and Dewroll," I commanded, "I need you to come with me. We're going to further investigate this."



None of my cats questioned me as they all paddled up to me, quickly. The whole of the Clan were watching us intently and I flicked my tail at the cats on my patrol.

"Let's go."

We were soon racing out of camp, the wind smashing against out pelts. I loved running in StoneClan. We had nice strong winds that pushed all your fur back as you ran, but wasn't so strong that it disturbed you. The smooth grass rubbed against ones paws, and the occasional pebble that your paws slid over felt soothing. It was my home.

We ran for a long while. StoneClan has a nice territory that provided lots of prey. Unfortunately, that also meant a lot of patrolling and a lot of frequent patrolling. The amount of rogues and loners we had to chase out in the past moon were all dangerously large.

"What do you think did it?" Maplefall, who was pelting beside me, questioned as we ran. I shook my head, not sure at all. PebbleClan wouldn't just disappear. Not in a time like this...

Unlike before we weren't at war. It was green-leaf, there was plenty of prey, and rogues weren't being much of a problem as of late, except for petty wandering.

What could have taken PebbleClan down?

I wasn't sure if it was a good thing or not either. Would it mean more territory and the assurance that we were free from having to worry about delving into another war with the Clan, or was what had taken them down dangerous for us too.

"Let's hope we can find out," I replied, "PebbleClan was strong and they were healthy at this time. Whatever it was that knocked them over will have to have been strong."

"Maybe it was internal," He offered.

"Let's hope."

We pulled to a halt as we reached the border. I took a careful sniff and was surprised not to find any PebbleClan, despite the fact that I was expecting it. They had always been so eager to make it known that they were there and they were a threat to us... and now they were gone.

"Let's go," I whispered.

I was hesitant as I crossed the border, almost expecting some PebbleClan cat to jump out of the bushes and demand I get off their territory. My heart stopped for a moment but there was no one.

It was clear.

Exchanging a glance with Maplefall, we continued across the border, hearts pounding, eyes squeezed shut. I wasn't sure I wanted to see what had become of the Clan that had been our bitter enemies for so long, and we now had a shaky peace with. Or we did.

"Keep going."

We were slower on PebbleClan territory. Not running or dashing but taking slow steps, glancing about cautiously looking for anything that may have made the place so quiet.

"This doesn't feel right," Frostfur whispered, "I mean, how can it be so empty. This is PebbleClan, they never went down without a fight."

"If we don't find Rainstar's body I won't know what to think," I replied. I wasn't looking forward to seeing the dead form of a leader I had hated, respected and feared all at once, but not finding it would be worse, I realized. Not finding it would make everything all the more confusing.

"Remember to keep your guards up."

My warriors all nodded as we continued. My eyes and ears were pealed as we walked towards the camp I knew so well from the large number of times we had attacked.

I never thought this was how it would end.

I didn't think anyone could have.

It wasn't long before we entered camp to find it exactly how it had been described to us. Completely empty and abandoned. There were several pieces of rotting prey in the fresh-kill pile, and blood was scattered over the camp. I could make out a few bodies. No Rainstar.

"Let's split," I whispered, "I'll take the medicine cat's den. Maplefall, you take apprentice. Frostfur, you do warriors. Squirreltail, take Rainstar's den. Badgerclaw, warriors den. Dewroll, check the nursery and elders den."

My clanmates nodded and we quickly split up. As I padded towards the medicine cat's den I could make out a body. And as I got nearer, it was easy to tell who that body belonged to.


I recognized him-once he had wandered off to our territory and caused quite a bit of commotion. His mother, Morningblue, had prevented a battle but his name and face was imprinted into his mind.

Poor kit.

As I glanced about, I tried to take in the scent but it was all muffled and stale. I could have sworn Rainstar's scent was lingering but I figured she must have been here the day she died, she was a caring leader, after all.

After a moment of hesitation, I gripped the kits dead body in my jaws. He may not receive the vigil he had liked, but I knew one in StoneClan was better than none at all. I knew my warriors were compassionate enough not to deny this to a young, slaughtered kit.

"Rainstar!" A call from the clearing pushed me out of the apprentice den, Grasskit hanging at my jaws, as I entered the clearing to see a rogue, staring at me curiously.

Did rogues do this?

Sensing my question, he quickly shook his head, "I can certainly assure ye that this wasn't the work of me rogue pals. I saw it as it happened, actually. Two mad twolegs with those scary sticks came in here and shot the cats down. Didn't even put up a fight, them cats, they just ran and died and now they ain't got a Clan no more."

"Twolegs did this?"

"Yeah," He shrugged, "Them ones with two legs."

"I know what twolegs are," I snapped, rolling my eyes, "But that explains this..." I glanced down at Grasskit dangling helplessly from my jaws, "Poor PebbleClan."

"So this be our territory now?" The rogue raised a hopeful eyebrow. I exchanged a glance with Squirreltail, the one who had called me, and sighed.

"For now, it is. That all might change though."

"Well me and my buds will be enjoying this. Nice lot o' land your frenemies got here. Lotsa prey and territory and nice sunny spots where you can warm your belly."

"It is nice," I claimed, feeling more and more nauesious. Feeling Grasskit's stale-smelling fur in my jaw wasn't helping, only making me feel worse.

"Would you believe..." Squirreltail was shaking her head.

"No I wouldn't," I sighed, "Let's get back to camp. We have to break the news and sooner will be better than later. I want to have all cats on guard, the twolegs might come for us next."

Squirreltail nodded, and I could already see the fear forming in her eyes that I would soon be able to find in those of the rest of my Clanmates.

Oh StarClan, please don't let the end of StoneClan be the end of us as well.


The Clan was horrified to say the least.

"What will we do?" Lightwing wailed, "We are all going to get killed and slaughtered by the twolegs! We have to run before they killed us all!"

"They can't kill my kit like the took Grasskit!"

"I say we go attack them-I may not have liked PebbleClan but even they deserved to be avenged! And I don't want to wait for them to come to us!"

"Quiet down!" I ordered. Some of the Clan listened, but many cats were still in hysterics. I rolled my eyes, not sure what I should make of them.

"Quiet down!" I repeated, louder this time.

There was a moment of silence before the Clan seemed to settle, their attention turned back to me, although I could tell they were still scared.

"You are safe within the walls of this camp."

The murmurs made me sure they doubted what I said. They didn't think they were safe anymore, they feared this could be their end, they no longer trusted StoneClan.

Maybe, I realized, PebbleClan's disaster had ruined us. Just not in the way I had once expected that it would be able to.

"I will be setting up extra patrols. We can't go to find them, there are so many twolegs out there we would have no way to start or even identify the correct ones. I will add extra guards and set up a few more before the nursery and elders' den. StoneClan is safe."

"Only for elders, kit and queens!" Jaypaw shook his gray tabby head, golden eyes wide with fear, "But what about us apprentices and warriors!"

There were many calls of agreement.

"We can take on a few twolegs," I assured the Clan.

"But they have those firing sticks!" One of the warrior toms protested, "What if they shoot us! Our claws are nothing compared to what they have!"

"We will be fine."

But they didn't believe me.

"Listen to Hailstar!" Maplefall urged, pushing himself up to his paws. I felt a sense of affection towards the tom growing within me. It would have to take a lot of courage to stand up before s shaking Clan to back a leader that none of them believed. He would be held to his word.

There were a few murmurs of agreement and I decided I would have to thank the tom. However, it soon became clear that those who would agree with him were less than those paralyzed by fear.

"Your loved ones, and you, will all be safe," I promised.

Many of the cats got up and turned around. I sighed, knowing my prayer must have certainly missed StarClan. Because StoneClan was going down faster than I had imagined it could.


"Aye, ye came back to talk to me!" The rogue grinned. His brown pelt was in a rugged mess and he smelled of twoleg trash. I resisted the urge to wrinkle my nose.

"The territory is all yours."

"Yehpee!" He did a little jump and I rolled my eyes, not at all amused, only heartbroken. It had been just last night, it had taken only two sunrises.

"I don't think this Clan is safe anymore, Hailstar. I think we need to disperse. We already held vigil from Grasskit and that just tore us all..."

"You too now, Maplefall."

"I wouldn't be saying this if the rest of the Clan was scared. But you can't force them to live in fear. You can't force them to think any moment may be their last."

"It's their stupidity."

"And as a Clan leader it's your job to deal with that. But you failed. Which is why StoneClan... Which is why StoneClan must go." He looked on the verge of tears.

I shook my head, agreeing with him and not agreeing with him but knowing I would do what he said.

"And," I added, "Tell 'yer rogue buddies' that our territory is free as well."

He seemed confused, "You moving out?"

"We're done."

I turned around hiding my head before the rogue could see the tears that sprawled down my cheeks. Before the rogue could see how much this hurt. How much I wish it didn't have to be.

How much I blamed myself. How much I wished I could blame someone else. Wished Maplefall wasn't right. Wished twolegs never existed. Wish I could have just...

But I failed. And I knew that.

"Our territory is yours now. Use it well-I'm trusting you with the one thing I ever truly did love."

"Mommy, why are we leaving?"

M heart broke as I stared at Thunderkit, the tabby brown tom who had asked the question, and Fernkit, my cream colored she-kit with blue eyes who looked nearly identical to me.

"Because," I whispered, "Because PebbleClan's not safe anymore."

"If PebbleClan's not safe, mama, then where is?"

I shook my head, stuttering. I wasn't sure there was anywhere safe, but I had to be brave. For my precious little kittens. I sucked in a breath.

"I know a safe place," I whispered, "But we have to be fast-the longer it takes to get there the most we'll be in danger. You don't want to end up like poor Grasskit, do you?"

They both shook their heads, eyes wide.

"Will we get to see our friends again?"

I wasn't sure how to respond to that. I couldn't lie to them, and manipulating them seemed harsh. But the truth might make them very frustrated as well.

"Safety comes before all else," I whispered.

They nodded, and continued walking on their stubbly little legs. Each passing moment was making me happier and yet making the situation scarier. We didn't have a Clan to protect us anymore. It was me and my kits and if something happened it was all over.

We were on our own.


"Mamma, where's Thunderki-I mean Thunder," Fern asked, glancing back and forth, and I whirled around. I had told them, just moments after claiming they couldn't see their friends that they had to change their names too.

"Fern," I felt my heartbeat increasing. Thunder was a cocky and confident yet silent tom. His whereabouts were always hard to be known, and I had forgotten to pay extra-close attention to him, "Fern, when was the last time you saw your brother, tell me."

"A little bit after you changed our names," Fern replied.

I felt my heartbeat increasing as I glanced about, "Fern we have to find your brother right now," I snapped. She must have detected the urgency in my tone because she nodded hysterically. I could tell her I had put her on the verge of tears but I didn't have time to worry about that at the moment.

"Hurry, Fern," I whispered, my heart pounding.

Thunder can't be gone, not yet, not yet, not yet this wasn't meant to be this way. I'm so inexperienced without the Clan but we were supposed to last longer than this.

I swallowed, continuing to search.

We had to find him.


I felt my heart aching, as I curled my tail around Fern. I doubted either of us would sleep that night. It was impossible to hide the truth from her-that Thunder was missing.

And on our very first day.

"Mommy," Fern shifted, sniffling, "Will I get lost too?"

I thought about Thunder, so confident and always sure of himself. I remembered all the moments in the nursery, the broken expression on his face when I claimed we were leaving PebbleClan, and Fern.

I could not let the same thing happen to her.

"You will be safe," I promised, wrapping my tail around Fern, breathing in the scent of her soft pelt. I could feel tears welling around the edges of my eyes, "I promise."

After that she seemed to slowly ease into a sleep, but I couldn't. I couldn't help thinking about Thunder and the promise I had made my now dead mate, Russetpelt, when they were born. About how I would always protect them. I didn't even want to think about his disappointment in me at the moment.

But I couldn't help wondering about this promise. About whether or not I would be able to keep this one. Glancing at Fern I couldn't imagine myself not doing so.

But hadn't I felt the same way about Thunderpaw?

Taking in a shaky breath, I shuddered, and burried my head deeper into her fur. It's going to be alright, I promised myself, It's going to be alright.

But it wasn't.

I was confused. Lost and confused. I didn't know where I was, where I should be going. My mom was lost... I didn't even remember how it happened.

I had blanked when thinking about something and by the time I had snapped my attention back my mother, Briarlight, was gone. My sister was gone. All I had left was gone.

I let in a shaky sniff.

"Momma?" I called again. It was dark outside, my stomach was grumbling and I was quite sure I was about to die. A crack behind me caused me to whirl around. I could remember all the boasts I had made in the nursery about how I would, for sure, become the next Clan leader.

Who was I kidding I thoughts, frustrated, I'm left alone in the wild for only one night and I'm going to die. I can't even keep up with my mother. I'm a coward... A coward that's about to die...

Another crack came from behind me and I squeaked, feeling tears welling around the corners of my eyes. A part of me wanted to wail. To sit down and wail for mercy. To sob and let the trees I was surrounded by now of my despair, of how broken and fragile I felt...

About how I had lost all my confidence at once.

But I stood tall. I didn't bend my neck. I knew something was emerging from behind me and I spun around, not showing how scared I was. Not letting my knees shake. Not backing my gaze.

I found myself facing three gruff looking toms. Hungry toms. Cats generally didn't eat each other, I knew, but what if they were really, really hungry.

"What do you mice want?" I snapped. I was crying on the inside, thinking over my life, about how I was certainly too young to die now.

They exchanged glances.

"We could use this one," One of the toms, a black one, claimed. He walked over, leaned down, and picked me up by my scruff. I was too paralyzed to scream in fear. They obviously weren't eating me...

They were taking me somewhere, I realized, with a dash of hope.

And that, was how my new life began.

The patrol of cats parted, leaving me to step to the center.

Well I'm in luck today... his thoughts were scattered, thinking of the Clans' disappearance, along with the rest of the rogues that he was dedicated to watch over.

But there, he actually could pay attention to that kit. There was something about him. Promising. But he didn't like it.

His smoky gray pelt was standing on end, his orange-yellow eyes gleaming in terror. Even more, his legs were shaking to the point of giving out.

"What's your name?" I inquired. The kit let out a whimper.

"Speak up kit," I growled.

"I'm Thunder," he whispered.

He took a step closer to the kit, until they stood nose to nose.

"This is our territory. Leave, or be killed." He finished his statement with a satsified hiss.

"But... but I have nowhere to go," he whimpered. It may have been a strange strike of pity, or his mate Leppy's pleading eyes, but he began to push himself to make an acception.

After all, this kit could be valuable. It could give information about the Clans.

Or it could just become another mouth to feed. Even worse, betrayal.

"Please, Coal," Leppy pleaded, "Don't you see how lost and pitiful he is? With him, you could even have a kit of your own."

I almost laughed. I had never wanted kits.

Slowly, I turned to my whining mate. "Well, if you really want to keep this sniveling scrap so much," he mewed casually, "He has to pass a test."

"But that's cruel, Coal--"

I cut her off.

"And you have to be the one to fight him."

Leppy's mouth gaped open in shock. "But-- but I--"

Thunder looked up at her with pleading golden eyes. She squeezed hers shut, and bunched her muscles.

And leaped.

I watched with satisfaction, as she knocked over the kit. Thunder squealed with horror, but batted her off with his paws. Leppy hissed, and brought his paw down on his face. But right at the last second, Coal noticed her claws retract into her paw.

But I didn't say a word. The kit was probably already going to end up dead, anyways.

But after Leppy gently knocked him over, he stood up defiantly, growling. His eyes flashed as he leaped towards the larger she-cat. 

Leppy didn't do anything to stop him. His claws raked across her flank, leaving small scratch marks, slightly dribbling blood.

"Coal, don't you think this proves that he's good enough?" she mewed, worried.

"You haven't even tried!" I snarled back. Fury that my mate was getting nothing done, and this pathetic scrap might even have a chance to join the rogues raced through me.

"Storm!" I shouted to the gray tabby, standing right next to me.

"Yes, Coal?" he asked politely, although the worry shone through his voice.

"Attack the kit."

Without hesitation, Storm raced toward the fight.

"Leppy, get out of the way!" I screeched at her. With relief, she jumped to the side. But her eyes widened when she saw what was undeniably going to happen to the kit.

Storm knocked Thunder over with a single blow. Blood trickled from the corner of his mouth, yet still, he struggled to pull himself up once again. Storm raked his claws across the face of the kit.

Thunder slumped to the earth. Honestly, I couldn't care less, but just when I saw his young, still-fluffy face... dripping with blood and marked with scratches... I felt guilty.

I should've just took him back and fed him and treated him.

But it was too late now. There was no way that I would look a fool in front of my cats. And what right did this kit even have to join us?

For a moment, it looked as if the stormy gray kit was dead. He was unmoving.

After a moment, he slowly dragged himself up. Instead of turning to face Storm, he spun around the other way and dug his tiny claws into a tree.

My breath was barely escaping from my throat as I watched him haul his way up the tree, his paws gripping knots in the trunk and twigs and loose bits of bark.

And there Thunder stood. His fur fluffed out against the wind, standing on the tree branch, leaves rustling around him. Storm gaped up in shock. A weak, lost kit would never be expected to fight and climb.

Something snapped within me.

"That's it!" I shouted. Roughly pushing Storm aside, I began to haul myself up the trunk of the maple.

"If you think that you were good enough, kit, you were wrong," I whispered.

When I finally reached the tree branch that Thunder stood on, I bared my teeth, unsheathed my claws.

"You fared well against Leppy and Storm. But let me see you face me."

I bolted forward, aiming to knock his paws out from under him, so he would fall to the hard earth.

But having a small size, he crouched down. I was only able to clip him in the chest, before we both went dangling off the edges of the tree branch.

I hauled myself back up with ease, panting. I looked for Thunder. To my delight, he was still dangling from the branch, little claws scrabbling to get a grip.

Ever so slowly, I creeped down the branch, and placed my paws on top of his.

"We'll see who wins now," I hissed, ignoring Leppy's shrieks.

I prepared to flip his paws off of the bark.

When I began to hear a faint cracking sound. I whipped around.

That was when the tree branch snapped, and we both went plummeting to the earth.

Maple leaves swirled in the breeze. In fact, the whole forest seemed as if it were going to topple over from the strong force of the wind.

I trudged forward, determined to escape the stormy forest, before I was crushed by a tree.

I broke into a run. But it was too late.

The wind pulled the trees to the earth, showering me with leaves. I crouched down, terrified, as I watch each tree silhouette topple down one by one.

A faint hissing reached my ears. It grew louder and louder, until my paws no longer brushed the meadow grass, as a warm substance was beginning to cover my paws. I looked down to a gooey red. Blood.

I screamed and began to run. But everything was fading, fading...

"Leppy?" a timid voice mewed. I opened my eyes slowly, to see two wide orange-yellow eyes.

I groaned and pulled myself to my paws. "Yes dear?"

"I--I came to you to ask... where I waited to start my training."

A rock dropped in my stomach. Training? How much more were they going to put this poor kit through?

I kept a straight face. "Oh, of course. See that bramble bush over there?" Thunder nodded.

"If you just go past that..." Thunder was craning his neck to see around it.

"Here," I mewed, "Why don't I show you?"

"Okay," he replied, and began to pad away. I followed.

Waiting by the training stump, was Coal and Storm.

"Well look," Storm sneered, "It seems as if our guest needed some help." Thunder met his gaze strongly.

Coal narrowed his eyes. "Why don't you come help us train the kit, Leppy?" he mewed.

My paws trembled. "Well I- sure." I couldn't just disobey Coal, especially since there was the fact that I was his mate.

"Okay, now that that's agreed, why don't we go?" Coal said.

I nodded. Thunder followed suit.

Sometimes I really hated Coal. He was mean, cruel, and awful. But I remembered when we used to be young, happy mates, playing in the fall leaves. Back when he laughed, and had a heart of kindness.

That was all changed, as soon as he became leader of the gang. He had to murder Ash, the previous leader, to get into his position. At that moment, his heart finally turned to stone.

Sometimes at night, when he's sleeping, he seems just like he used to.

We arrived at the training grounds. Apprehension welled up in me; it just wasn't fair. It wasn't fair to this poor kit to go through so much hardship. He must be missing his mother dearly.

I walked forward, preparing myself to train the kit. But Coal shoved me aside before I could get to him.

"All right, kit," he said, "We're going to do some battle training."

"My name is Thunder, remember?" he replied.

This couldn't turn out good.

Coal gently unsheathed his claws, and stuck one right at Thunder's throat.

"I don't give a rat's tail what your name is. All you should be worrying about is your training, because I think I have a special job for you."

One thing I had learned about Coal's "special jobs" was that they were generally dangerous and immoral.

All of a sudden, Coal attacked.

This time, Thunder was knocked to the ground. He whimpered in pain. Coal held his claws to the kit's throat once again.

"All right, kit," he spat, "I have a little lesson for you." He paused briefly, to adjust his position, and get Thunder more thoroughly pinned to the earth. "It's every cat for themselves. You have to work. There is no good or evil, only power. Do you understand, scrap?"

He nodded. "Yeah," he said bravely.

Coal smiled a twisted smile. "Good. That's... excellent."

And that's how I slowly watched as Thunder became a monster.

Somehow, that little innocent kit that we had found in the woods, was completely transformed. Coal and Storm started excluding me from the training sessions; they were afraid my "weak" mind would pollute Thunder's mind. I feared for Thunder, as he came back every session with scratches and dried blood adorning his pelt.

Slowly, Thunder matured, became bigger and muscular. Moons passed. I grew weaker. I watched as Thunder, once the adorable kit, now the tough rogue, practiced killing moves.

And finally, Thunder was just as awful and ruthless as Coal was, with a similar hunger for blood.

Yet that wasn't even the worst part. The worst part, was that I was slowly losing sympathy for him. I gave up on him.

And I hated myself for that.

Finally, I overheard the quiet conversation held between Coal and Thunder.

"You are ready," Coal said, "I finally have for you your task."

The leaves swirled in the breeze, creating a rustling sound that echoed throughout the forest.

It seemed like forever ago, that I was a small kit, lost in the woods. I was weak then. Powerless, like the scrap I was. Unworthy of any attention. Yet Coal, Storm, and Leppy were kind enough to give it to me.

Coal and Storm had taught me many important lessons. Leppy was weak, yet sometimes her kindness helped me pull through back when I was weak as well. But that was all behind me. Now, I was powerful. I could take down any cat.

I had never been so happy in my life.

Now, it was my time. Coal would have a pleasant surprise when I brought back the bloody body. Or perhaps more than one, if I was lucky.

When I was training, we had done a thorough scouting of the territory. Luckily, we were able to catch the scent of two cats wafting in the breeze. After doing some further spying and research, we had found out that it was a young she-cat and her mother.

Of course, it would be more grand if I could take down a muscular tom. But in a way, it was stronger to take down the weaker, simply because you could show that your heart could take it.

Mine could. And I was about to prove it.

Slowly, I crept through the undergrowth, making sure to stay downwind, out of the sight and smell of my prey. It didn't take very long, due to my extreme skill. I was soon approaching my targets.

I saw them, sleeping curled up next to each other, like weak mice. They were breathing heavily, and purring in their sleep. 

Momentarily, I felt a twinge of regret. But it was soon gone as soon as I was on the move again.

I crept to their side. Only if they knew that a killer was looming over them. Only if they knew. What would they do? Scream? They were going to do that already, as soon as I started slaughtering them.

I raised my paw. I decided that I would take the mother first. Mothers could be very protective over their kits, and I didn't want to deal with that at the end.

And I struck. She screamed, as the blood went spattering all over their den and pelts. Fast as a viper, I went in for the killing bite. The puncture wounds in her neck bled, and she felt limp. 

Meanwhile, the daughter, was standing up, screaming.

I lunged at her, but she sidestepped, and began running. Never before had I seen any cat run as fast as she did. She was like the wind, with her beautiful pelt flowing. I felt a twinge again. 

And then I did something strange. I retreated, without even attempting to run after her. Instead, I just grabbed the body of the mother, and began dragging it back to camp.

Coal would be pleased.


I had given up long ago.

One thing that I had learned was that you shouldn't trust anyone. No matter what. Even if they said that you meant everything to them, that they loved you, that you were special. It was all lies. Most cats would lie to save their skin or get what they wanted in the moment.

I would never let anyone in again.

That's why I was more hostile than usual when that annoying kit came screaming to me for a second time.

"Amber!" she shouted, "I-I need your help!"

I snapped my head up. "Great. It's you again."

"Y-yeah. It's me. Poppy."

So that was her name. I had forgotten.

"What do you want? I have minimal time, you know." That was a lie, I really didn't have anything to do. I just wanted the annoying lump of fur to leave me alone to wallow in my sorrow.

"I-it was a big cat. Big, with a dark pelt. He-he came in and murdered my mother."

I remembered my mother. She was a kittypet. So was I, at one point, all though I would never tell another living soul.

Her Twolegs had taken her out one time, and she never came back. And that's when I left to find my way on my own, before the Twolegs could snatch me and take me too.

Sometimes I wish that they had, with the life that I was living now.

"What do you want me to do about it?" I snarled.

"Protect me," she stated simply, "He might come after me again!" 

I rolled my eyes. Who did she think she was?

"Look sweetheart, you're not anything special. Don't think that crazy cats are going to go after you, specifically."

"But-but I'm scared."

She was persistent. And I wouldn't lift a claw against her; that would do more harm than good. There was one final option that I could turn to.

The Clans.

My mother had taught me all about them; they were big scary cats that liked to eat bones. As I grew older, I looked into the Clans a little bit more. According to the word of travelers and former Clan cats turned rogue, those myths weren't true. I knew that they were a bit disorganized at the moment, but they should offer sufficient protection.

"Look, kit," I spat at her, "Unfortunately for you, I don't want to be graced with your presence any longer. So I've thought of the options, and I have one final offer for you."

"What?" she said eagerly.

"I'll take you to the Clans."

She shuffled her paws. "But... my mother used to say that the clans weren't safe, and they were always fighting."

I shrugged. "That may be, but think about it. It's your best option." I sighed. "That, or I just leave you."

"No!" she exclaimed, "Please take me there!"

I sighed. "Okay. Let's get this over with real fast."

It turned out that the task wasn't as easy as it sounded.

The PebbleClan camp was abandoned. It stank of stale cat smell and blood. Fur was littered everywhere. In fact, it seemed just like the cats just left right in the middle of what they were doing.

"Hey!" Poppy shouted, "There's Twoleg bullets on the ground!" She gestured with her tail.

I turned to see, that in fact, she was correct.

"Something awful happened here," she murmured.

And I had to agree.

"This is all you got?" Coal screeched at me. I resisted the urge to tremble.

Before me, was the dead body of the mother. I was initially pleased with the kill, but then I was soon shot down. 

Apparently, it wasn't a big victory to kill an elderly mother. I had to have the kit, before I received any credit.

And I would be willing to hunt her down to earn it.

"It's okay," Leppy tried to reason, "He-he did enough. Just let him off."

Suddenly, Coal lashed out. Leppy darted back, blood streaming down her face, shaking.

"I put in so much effort training you, and this is what you get in return?" he hissed

to be continued

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